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Disc Digger: 1956

August 1956. Southampton, New York. "Teenage girl in record store." Medium format negative from photos for the Look magazine assignment "The Young Have New Ideas: They're the Disc Diggers." Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Collection. View full size.

August 1956. Southampton, New York. "Teenage girl in record store." Medium format negative from photos for the Look magazine assignment "The Young Have New Ideas: They're the Disc Diggers." Library of Congress Prints & Photographs Collection. View full size.


On Shorpy:
Today’s Top 5

Kids these days and 10 years before "Time Out"

Baron, I thank God that, unlike many scores of millennials, your wonderful daughter hasn't started calling them "vinyls" yet.

That said, I thought I'd drop a little something by that may be a bit of an anachronism to most - an actual Dave Brubeck 78 from 1949 pressed on a vinyl/polystyrene mix from my personal stash of 78's. Both label photo as well as a YouTube post of a transfer recording of it by yours truly.

"Laura" by the Dave Brubeck Trio with Cal "Callen" Tjader at the drums from September, 1949:

Kids Today

A few years ago, while packing to move to a new house, I came across a few of my grandmother's old 78's from the 1940s and '50s. My young daughter said "look at those giant CDs!" That gave me a good belly laugh. I tried to explain to her how a record player worked, but she wasn't having any of it.

Looks like Look

I knew this photo was from Look Magazine before I read the caption. No photographer credit was mentioned, but it looks like the kind of photos Stanley Kubrick did for the magazine. The teenage girl here is absolutely lovely and has a look of grim determination on her face. I wonder what LP she was so desperate to get her hands on?

[The photographer is Jim Abbe. - Dave]

Six-eyes and the 78's demise

That could very well be a Liberace LP in her hand - which might explain why she's holding it well away from herself and the listening booths behind in such a decidedly harmful fashion. If it were three years later, it could've been "Time Out" by the Dave Brubeck Quartet featuring "Take Five" - which case she would've treated it more like a precious family heirloom.

As far as 78's in the United States, for all commercial and widely distributed intents and purposes, they were extinct by the summer of 1960 (some children's record sets were available in 78rpm until 1964-1965). But, in countries and territories like Mexico, Brazil, India, The Philippines, Thailand, Turkey, Portugal and South Africa, 78's were still being made and sold with popular American music as late as 1970. Elvis' "It's Now Or Never", Ray Charles' "Ruby' and "I Can't Stop Loving You" and about half a dozen titles by The Beatles on Indian Parlophone are among the extremely late 78's I've personally come across.

For the label nerds

That's a Columbia record with the "Six-Eye" label as used from 1956 to 1962:

Guess the Album

Billboard No. 1 albums of 1956:

March-April: Harry Belafonte
May-July: Elvis Presley
July-August: "My Fair Lady"

Question about new fonts

I'm beginning to get used to the new Large Type Edition of Shorpy, but one thing looks strange. Using Google Chrome 74, on the main page, in the thread titles, the lower case I appears as a lower case L. Is this something that can be fixed? For example, "Fairy Kist" appears as "Falry Klst".

[More pixels will fix your problem. Any newish HD video monitor should do. - Dave]

Provincial 78s

I once saw some 78 rpm records for sale of songs by the Beatles from 1964. They were made in a province of Canada.


Is that a listening booth behind the young man behind the girl?

I remember as a young man that the store manager would cut off the listening device after a short time if you were listening to an LP. I think that was so we would not just go there to listen to a whole album.

I don't think listening booths are still available since everything is digital now. But if they are it is most likely at the stores that still sell vinyls

Six eye Columbia Masterworks LP

She's not buying Elvis, more likely a Broadway Soundtrack or something Classical.

She's making the vinyl-holics wince

As a kid of the 1950s-60s, it took us time to find out proper record handling techniques. This lovely lady is holding onto the disc much as people did with those earlier & sturdier 78s that had just about vanished by the end of the 1950s. Most folks felt they were being fastidious when the disc found its way back into the proper cardboard album, that paper liner sleeve being used almost as an afterthought. An emerging posse of audiophiles was already busily informing the less cautious of us in the error of our ways.


I'm really flopping back and forth about the young lady seen here. She's lost the sleeve to the recording and has her fingers mucking up the precious grooves. But, she's so awfully lovely that it would be tough to risk making her dislike me for saying anything. Oh well, it seems she's won out, is there more of her?

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